When it comes to crime-fighting partnerships, you probably think of Batman and Robin, Starsky and Hutch, Holmes and Watson, etc. You don’t often think of a hard-boiled private detective and a cartoon rabbit, or a regular cop paired with an intergalactic refugee. But in Hollywood, where every idea, no matter how bizarre, will eventually be produced as a major motion picture, these pairings have already occurred. In honor of the release of The Other Guys on Unrated Blu-ray and DVD, we’ve compiled this list of the 9 most awkward crime-fighting partners in movie history.
Eddie Valiant and Roger Rabbit – Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
Eddie Valiant is a hard-nosed, borderline alcoholic private detective who hates cartoons. He blames them for the death of his brother, who was killed by at unknown toon years earlier. So when he finds himsel fighting to clear the name of a cartoon rabbit, things get pretty awkward, pretty fast. Not only is Roger Rabbit’s life at stake, but the fate of Toontown itself also hangs in the balance. For those of you who don’t live in the L.A. area, Toontown is a neighborhood near Hollywood where all the cartoons used to live. It’s since been overrun with Armenians.
When it comes to pairing celebrities in film, at least one member of the duo should have some acting talent. That way, they can make up for the other’s poor performance. Maybe that’s why Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dennis Rodman are so damn awkward in Double Team. Van Damme plays a counter-terrorism agent, and Rodman plays a drug dealer, but neither of one can act their way out of a paper bag. Granted, I doubt many people went to Double Team to see an Oscar-winning performance, but even so.
Danny Devito and Arnold Schwarzenegger are a pretty awkward pair on their own. But casting them as fraternal twins takes it to a whole new level. While the two don’t start out as crime fighters, circumstances force them to take on a pair of loan shar brothers and a ruthless hitman, so they earned a spot on this prestigious list.
Partnering a grown man with a child is awkward. But partnering a child with a grown man who also has a mustache is downright irresponsible. I know the character’s a cop, but even so, that molester ‘stache is a big red flag. I’m sure Burt Reynolds doesn’t go in for that sort of thing, but the film could lull parents into a false sense of security. The next thing you know, they’ve let their guard down, and the kids are at Jeffrey Jones’s house for another sleepover. Awkward.
Alien Nation is a lot like District 9 in the sense that an alien ship becomes stranded on Earth, and humanity has to figure out what to do with the passengers. But unlike District 9, the aliens of Alien Nation are not put in a camp and quarantined. Instead, they are put into a ghetto, just like regular immigrants. Detective Matthews Sykes isn’t big fan of the newcomers, but he teams up with one anyway because it gives him the chance he needs to investigate the murder of his former partner. The two don’t really hit it off, but eventually they learn to respect each other. I guess it’s sort of like The Odd Couple, except with aliens and homicide.
When you think of action-movie cops, The Rock and Samuel L. Jackson seem like a good pair. But when the characters played by these two are killed off, you’ll have to settle for The Other Guys. Detective Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) is more interested in pushing paper than pursuing perps, and Detective Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) is a deranged cop who once shot Derek Jeter during the World Series. Together, they’ll have to unravel a multimillion-dollar conspiracy, and hope that the department will forget the whole “desk pop” thing and allow Gamble to carry his weapon again (instead of a wooden replacement).
So get this! We take Sylvester Stallone and have him play a big tough-guy cop. But we partner him up with…his mom! Crazy, right? I mean, old ladies don’t carry big guns around, so it will be really funny! She’ll be all like, “Honey, be careful, you should eat more,” and stuff, and he’ll be all like “Mom, I’m trying to catch bad guys here.” And then she’ll be like, “I can help,” and he’ll be all like, “Aw mom, no!”
What could be more awkward than teaming the most powerful man in the world (according to the Internet) with a lovable family pet? Throwing the pair into a plot involving White Supremacists, I suppose. And Top Dog did just that. When an apartment complex full of minorities is destroyed by military-grade explosives, they put Chuck Norris (Jake Wilder) and a dog named Reno on the case. I would have thought the FBI would get involved in something like that, but instead it’s left to a local cop and a dog he doesn’t get along with. Now that’s what I call an awkward partnership.
Dr. Maxwell Kirshner and Jack Moss - The Thing with Two Heads (1972)
Pairing up an old white racist with a black death-row inmate is an awkward concept. Fusing both of their heads onto the same body is a surreal nightmare of racial stereotypes and Hollywood cliches. The old white dude needs a body to stay alive, and the young black “soul brother” needs an excuse to stay out of the electric chair long enough to clear his name. And everyone needs to see this trailer at least once before they die.